Joplin, Mo. -- A three pointer from Austin Wright with 11:47 left in the second half, gave the Lions a 52-50 lead that they would not relinquish as Missouri Southern defeated visiting Central Oklahoma, 85-77 tonight and qualified for the 2013 MIAA Basketball Tournament.
Southern (12-12, 7-9 MIAA) was led offensively by 23 points and a career-high 13 rebounds from Marquis Addison. He shot 14-17 from the free-throw line. Austin Wright scored 16 points and Blaine Miller added 13.
Central Oklahoma (12-12, 10-6 MIAA) had five score in double-figures led by 19 points from Jamell Cormier.
The Bronchos took a 40-37 lead into the locker room and led by zix (46-40) after a jumper from June Carter with 15:55 left in the game. The Lions, however, cut the lead to one (50-49) after a layup from Addison with 12:42 left in the game and went ahead on the three from Wright with 11:47 to go.
The Lions were 33-50 from the free-throw line as 58 fouls were called between the two teams. Southern held a 33-20 advantage in bench scoring and scored 21 points off of 15 Broncho turnovers.
The Lions will be back in action on Wednesday night as Southern travels to Pittsburg to take on the Gorillas in a 7:30 pm tipoff from John Lance Arena. The game will be part of the Sonic Trophy Series.